The devastating story of Natasha Richardson's death following a tragic skiing accident has shocked the entire Hollywood community. A Tony Award-winning actress and member of the famed Redgrave acting family, she died Wednesday in a Manhattan hospital, where she had been flown suffering from serious head injuries after a skiing accident on Monday north of Montreal. She was 45.
Alan Nierob, the Los Angeles-based publicist for Richardson's husband, Liam Neeson, confirmed her death Wednesday. "Liam Neeson, his sons (Michael, 13, and Daniel Jack, 12), and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha," he said in a statement. "They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time."
Richardson's accident occurred at Station Mont Tremblant near Montreal while the actress was taking a private skiing lesson. According to the ski patrol, she fell in a beginners trail and tumbled down the slope. “It was a normal fall; she didn’t hit anyone or anything,” a resort spokesperson said. “She didn’t show any signs of injury. She was talking and she seemed all right.” She was not wearing a helmet at the time.
Her instructor was the one that called the ski patrol which followed strict procedures and brought her back to the bottom of the slope and then accompanied the actress to her hotel, insisting that she should see a doctor. Although Richardson said she was fine, about an hour after the incident she complained of a headache and was taken to a local medical facility before being transferred to a Montreal hospital where she was diagnosed with severe brain trauma.
Upon news of the accident, Richardson's husband, Liam Neeson, left the set of a movie he was filming in Toronto and rushed to his wife's side. He accompanied her as she was flown from Canada to Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York, on Tuesday. Members of her family including her two sons, her husband, her mother, Vanessa Redgrave, and her sister, Joely Richardson, gathered at her hospital bedside to bid their farewells.
After being on life support for nearly two days, she passed away Wednesday at the New York Hospital.
This is a very sad turn of events, what had appeared a relatively minor fall on the slopes had ended in tragedy. It reminds us how fragile and precious life is.
Our condolences go out to the family during this difficult time.